The inmyskin Project now presents a chat with Akilah:
one: what is your name and where are you located ?
A - Hi, I'm Akilah Khadija & I'm located in Philadelphia, PA.
two: what do you feel is your calling in life ?
A - I'm currently trying to figure out what my calling is. I can say I hope for it to be the usage of my writing(s)/creations as a gateway to allowing others to feel free within themselves or at least as a means to build connections/bonds with others. Or maybe for me or the things that I do to touch people, especially Black people, in some way. In anyway.
three: when did you realize your self-worth and how has this journey of self-discovery been for you ? what have you learned the most about yourself ?
A - This journey has been tough and it is definitely far from over. It started right around the time I [re]turned natural. I just graduated high school and was trying to find my way into adulthood. At this time, just like now to be honest, I was questioning where it is I wanted to be in life as well as how I planned to get there. I also kept in mind whether or not the paths I had set in front of me would tarnish or alter me in anyway. I was just deciding to go forth and find myself and didn't want anything to get in the way. I no longer wished to be the watered down version I showcased in public but to be me in my entirety. It started with growing my relaxed hair out and allowing my hair to return to its natural state. This was a tough journey in itself. I never could get used to the twa/mini fro. I commend the women who wear theirs proudly. It wasn't until I loc'd my hair that I started feeling myself become myself. I started to drop all the pre-established notions of who I should be. There's no set way to be and as long as I provide no harm to any other being I am not in the wrong for falling deeper within myself. To accept yourself is to love yourself. Since learning this I have found my ability to walk freely and unashamedly in my truth …
four: how has your struggles helped you to become a better woman ?
A - My struggles have and continue to help me find my strength. It's not what you go through but how you handle it. I've been tested and will be tested in the future. It wasn't until I faced my problems (both external and internal) that I found my strength within. I found my ability to walk freely. I was now able to just be. Because of this new sense of reality I am a better woman, a better person.
five: who or what motivates you to create ?
A - Who: Well, people like you. Those who are at times hidden in the dark but undoubtedly passionate about their crafts. Those who eat, sweat, sleep, & bleed creativity. Those who go against societal norms and do their own damn thing. Those who are not afraid as well as those who are afraid to showcase their work. Those who, despite the stigma and negativity associated with choosing any art form as a career, continues on. And most importantly those who create.
six: what is your long time passion in life ?
A - My long time passion has to be writing. I've been writing since I was about 9 I believe. I didn't really take it seriously though. It wasn't until high school when I realized I had an apt for it. That's when I began to appreciate it a bit more. I believe it was my junior year that I began to consider it as a career choice. Writing was my solace. To write is to be free. I write because I'm always filled with an intensity and writing is the only way I can release it. I write because my experiences have all pierced my soul and flooded my heart with emotions all while pounding at my brain and driving me to the edge of insanity. I write because life is the most beautiful tragedy of all. I write because I didn't have a mother to speak to. I write because I will be forgotten and hopefully my writing will serve as a memorabilia. I write out of anger. I write for therapy. I write for love. I write for the color of my skin. I write to stay alive. I write to connect with people. I write for truth. I write to live. I write because I can't differentiate between the simplicity and complexity of my nature. I write the pieces of my soul in hopes of one day being able to put them all together and figure out who I really I am. I write for happiness. I write to free others. I write to be free …
seven: if you could give any tips or advice to the young girls and women around the world who suffer with loving and accepting who they are, what would you say ?
A - Let it be. You should be able to be yourself at all times. You should never feel the need to compromise your Soul for anything or anyone. Also, keep in mind that we are multidimensional creatures. You can be a mother and be openly sexual. You can be a scholar and listen to "trap" music. You can be "conscious" and "hood". You can be that paradox and still be 100% you. And remember that at the end of the day the 1 person you spend literally all your time with is yourself so why lie to yourself by being something you're not. You can only live in your truth. Love you, always.
eight: what do you feel needs to be told to our beautiful women of color ? do you feel that us women of color hear those words often ? if not, what can we do as a community to change that.
A - We need to hear that we are important. That we matter. That we are worthy and beautiful and that we are needed. These are things that are not quite often told to us. Now let's not take away from those who do their best to uplift Black women. Those praises are always appreciated but we need a little more. I believe simply speaking to one another is the first step. We as a people are so reluctant to share ourselves with others. Our thoughts, feelings, and especially our fears. We need to hear one another. Be there for one another. We are all we have at the end of the day. We need to say it and show it a little more.
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